History of Beer

Some Interesting Facts

Brewing is one of mankind's most ancient manufacturing arts, maybe as old as agriculture and definitely as old as bread. In fact, it is likely that beer and bread were by-products of each other! Archaeologists say that 'beerbread' was known in many eras throughout history.

Modern brewing commenced when Louis Pasteur (1822 – 1895) discovered it was yeast that caused fermentation.  

In 1876, he published his ‘Etudes sur la biere’ in which one could read about his findings concerning the ‘mystery of the fermentation processes’– the ‘art’ of brewing was fast becoming the ‘science' of brewing and continues to this very day.

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  • European beer first arrived in America with Christopher Columbus’ ships. On his last voyage to America in 1502, Columbus found the natives of Central America making a first-rate brew “of maize, resembling English beer”.

  • Beer came into its own in the Christian era through the influence of the monasteries. Monks often built the first breweries as pioneers of the hotel business, providing shelter, food, and drink to pilgrims and other travellers.

  • In ancient Babylon, the women brewers were also priestesses. Goddesses Ninkasi and Siduri were patronesses of beer, and certain types were exclusively brewed for temple ceremonies.

    Beer mugs over 3,000 years old were uncovered in Israel in the 1960s. Archaeologists said the find at Tel Isdar indicated Israelis’ beer drinking went back to the days of King Saul and King David.

    An Assyrian tablet from 2,000BC lists beer among the foods Noah used to provision the ark.

  • A 4,000-year-old clay tablet was discovered in Mesopotamia that indicates brewing was highly respected - and the master brewers were women.

  • Some 5,000 years ago the Chinese brewed an alcoholic beverage called ‘kui’ that would form the basis for beer.